2011 Volkswagen Polo GTIEnlarge Photo
Water-cooled Volkswagen enthusiasts here in the United States look across the Atlantic Ocean with longing. The VW Polo GTI is the real successor to the original, 1976 (1983 for America) MK1 Rabbit GTI. The car is similar in size and with a twincharged (that’s a supercharger and turbocharger) 1.4L inline-four producing 178 hp, a DSG gearbox and a sports-tuned suspension, should prove as much fun as well.
Now Autocar is reporting that Volkswagen will be coming up with an R-variant of the subcompact hatchback.
The car will forgo the GTI’s 1.4 twincharged motor and will have a 1.6L turbocharged four that makes 210 hp in its place. The car will probably share the GTi’s DSG transmission and a retuned sporty suspension. No all-wheel-drive will be available, but hot-hatches are still fun driving the front wheels.
The company’s R-subsidy is similar to BMW’s M division, Daimler’s AMG, and Fiat’s Abarth. The branch turns out even hotter versions of their line of family-friendly sedans and hatchbacks. Currently the company is making a Golf R and the not-for-America Scirocco.
VW will start selling the Polo to the United States around 2011, right around the time Europe gets the GTI. It makes perfect sense especially with the Ford Fiesta, and Mazda 2 coming out soon. Plus there are the successes of similar small cars like the Honda Fit, Kia Soul, and Toyota’s Scion brands.
There is no word if our market will be getting the little performers, but Volkswagen should definitely send us the GTI, if not the R, our way too.